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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Japanese reign supreme in bouldering, skateboarding

Yosozumi, Nonaka dominate women’s events to claim gold medals.
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Japan’s Kai Harada tackles a tough challenge in the Men’s Bouldering competition at the ANOC World Beach Games on Monday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Japan sounded a stern warning to their rivals of the competition that is in store in two of the new events at next year’s Tokyo Olympics with an excellent performance at the ANOC World Beach Games on Monday.

Japanese athletes won three of the four gold medals on offer in skateboarding park and bouldering. The hosts of the 2020 Olympics also made it 1-2 in two of those events.

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Men’s Bouldering winner Japan’s Kai Harada (centre) poses with his teammate Keita Watabe (left) and Germany’s Philipp Martin. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

In the women’s skateboarding park on day four of the Games, Sakura Yosozumi scored 38.66 points in the first of the three rounds. It was enough for her to claim gold as she failed to complete the next two rounds, stumbling when she was trying out some new manoeuvres. None of the other skateboarders, barring her own teammate, could even cross the 30-point mark.

Kihana Ogawa came up with a splendid effort in her final round scoring 31.31 points for the silver while Julia Benedetti of Spain was third with a score of 24.99 points. The Japanese athletes were certainly well ahead of the rest in their style, energy and presentation.

Japan dominated the men’s and women’s competitions in bouldering. Miho Nonaka was unbeatable in women’s bouldering. She scaled all her four challenges with dexterity and some quick thinking. Swiss Petra Klinger and Slovenia’s Urska Repusic, who won silver and bronze, were no match for the 22-year-old Japanese.

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Skateboarding Park gold medal winner Japan’s Sakura Yosozumi (centre) is flanked by her teammate Kihana Ogawa (right) and Spain’s Julia Benedetti. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Japan scored a 1-2 in men’s bouldering, with Kai Harada and Keita Watabe standing tall. The challenges on the flat surfaces and the overhangs were difficult and while the other competitors stumbled, Harada and Watabe maintained a firm grip to come out on top.

The beach tennis teams of Italy and Brazil stormed into the semifinal in men’s doubles, women’s doubles and the mixed doubles with comprehensive wins over their rivals.

A clutch of medals was decided in the wrestling competitions. Colombia’s Tatiana Renetria won the women’s 70kg gold while Nigeria’s Mercy Miesinnei struck gold in the 50kg class.

In the men’s 70kg Levan Kelekhsashvili of Georgia emerged triumphant while in the men’s 90kg Pakistan’s Inam Muhammad claimed the yellow metal.

In aquathlon, it was Spain all the way in the men’s and women’s individual categories. Kevin Vinuela just about edged out Mark Devay of Hungary in the men’s event while the gold in the women’s event went to Francisca Tous.

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Japan’s Sakura Yosozumi delicately balances on her skateboard in the Skateboarding Park competition of the ANOC World Beach Games at Aspire Park. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Medals tally

RankCountryGSBT
1Spain4026
2Japan3205
3Italy2103
4Brazil2002
5Belarus1113
=6Georgia1102
=6Russia1102
=8Colombia1001
=8Netherlands1001
=8Pakistan1001
11Azerbaijan0213
=12Australia0101
=12China0101
=12Finland0101
=12Hungary0101
=12Iran0101
=12Nigeria0101
=12Switzerland0101
=12Chinese Taipei0101
=12Ukraine0101
=21Germany0033
=21Romania0033
=21United States0033
=24Bulgaria0011
=24Chile0011
=24Dominican Rep0011
=24Hong Kong0011
=24Slovenia0011
=24Venezuela0011